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Jim Riggleman parties as the rest of us pass judgment

Soon after he stepped down as manager of the Washington Nationals on Thursday, Jim Riggleman retired to Caddies on Cordell in Bethesda, Md. Why did Riggs head there?

"I was solving the world's problems," Riggleman told a local radio station on Friday.

Also, the ladies: "There are some beautiful young ladies in that place," he said.

Apparently so, judging from the pics snapped by @jskiernan.  But while Riggleman was celebrating his new unemployment in a way that many of us might — at the bottom of a bottle — the baseball world was still buzzing about his spectacular (and backfired) power play on Mike Rizzo and the Lerner family.

Here's a sampling of what we've been saying:

Dave Sheinin, Washington Post: "Riggleman's unhappiness over his contract situation had been an open secret around the team almost since the day it was signed, Nov. 9, 2009. Although the Nationals called it a three-year deal at the time, it was more accurately a two-year guaranteed deal with a low buyout after the first season and a team option for 2012 — effectively keeping Riggleman on a year-to-year basis, and at a salary, $600,000, that ranked among the lowest in the game"

Will Yoder, The Nats Blog: "Leaving the team was the lowest thing he could have done. As stated above, I understand his frustration, for me it would be maddening. But think about the other people involved. The team had built this undeniable chemistry, the fans were falling in love, and you're the god-forsaken manager of the club. You can't quit halfway through, you signed a contract just like the players did."

Jim Riggleman parties as the rest of us pass judgmentBen Schwartz, Can't Stop the Bleeding: "So, Riggleman left his pennant-guaranteed .507 club high and dry because he didn't get the deal he wanted.  Owners do that every day, as is their privilege as "businessmen."  This is the same Riggleman who watched the Padres deal Gary Sheffield(notes) and Fred McGriff out from under him in their 'fire sale.' Do owners ever get blackballed for such bull----?  Do we ever hear how they'll never work again, no matter how much they sell out the concept of winning?"

Nats Enquirer: "Gotta wonder if this is the kind of change Jayson Werth(notes) had in mind when he was 'misinterpreted' by the media a few weeks ago when the ship was sinking in Milwaukee? It's always something with this team."

Ken Rosenthal, FOX Sports: "Let's forget Riggleman for a moment. Let's go back to Sept. 24, when someone even more highly regarded than Riggleman resigned from the Nationals. Stan Kasten worked 24 years for Ted Turner, one of the most eccentric owners in sports history. He lasted only four years with the Lerners. Gee, wonder why."

Dave Nichols, Nats News Network: "As in everything else in life, there are three side[s] to every story: yours, mine and the truth.  We may never know the complete truth on how things went down leading up to Thursday's announcement, but we have a pretty good handle on the big picture  ... What we know is this:  Rizzo had no reason to pick up the option or even discuss it.  Doing so would give away the only option he had in the managerial structure for next year's team.  2011 isn't about wins, despite the outrageous hot streak that have the Nats at 37-36 at play's end today.  It's about evaluation, of players — both major and minor league — and the managerial and coaching staff.  Picking up Riggleman's option was simply not something Rizzo needed or wanted to do."

Jeff Passan, Yahoo! Sports: "He grew up in Rockville, Md., a little more than 20 miles from Nationals Park, and wanted to be the hometown boy who turned the hometown team into a winner. So he waited until the Nationals were playing their best baseball to see if that was realistic. If ever Washington was going to pick up his option, it would be now. So he made a threat. Rizzo called his bluff."

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